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Freecall-UK ready to go live at last

Users can earn points toward getting free Web calls

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A service which claims to offer toll-free access to the Net will be launched on Monday. Finally. Freecall-UK says that unlike other services, users will be able to "earn" free calls online during peak hours depending on how often they use the Net. The service is aimed at small businesses and home workers who get clobbered with high charges for accessing the Net during the day. It means that if users spend 30 hours online during peak hours one month, for example, they will automatically receive 15 hours of free daytime Net access the following month. According to Richard Jay, who has funded Freecall-UK without any external backing, the service has had a complete change of strategy since it was first touted last month. Initially, Jay said users would be able to "earn" free time online by generating revenue as part of an ecommerce collective. While this is still the case, the emphasis on SMEs and SoHos is a change of direction for FreeCall-UK from its original consumer-based plan. But it's much more than a simple facelift. Having witnessed the evolution of FreeCall-UK over the last six weeks some people might be forgiven for thinking that the business strategy was devised on the hoof. Some may feel that Jay came to market with a product before he had any real notion of what he intended to offer. Others have been less kind -- views which led to personal attacks and threats of violence against him and his family. For the 178,000 people who have already registered their interest it will indeed be interesting to see if FreeCall-UK -- and its Surrey-based ISP partner Link-Connect -- can deliver what it promises within the coming months. ®

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